SO STRONG has been the backlash against the idiotic move of the PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in filing sedition charges against Vice President Robredo and scores of Duterte critics that the Palace spokesman said that the President has “absolutely nothing to do about the complaint.”
Malacañang is again insulting the intelligence of Filipinos. The charges are so serious and the respondents include not only the leading lights of the political opposition and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) but also three bishops and three priests of the Roman Catholic Church. The move, however clumsily planned and implemented, would certainly create national repercussions and it is unthinkable that the PNP under Gen. Oscar Albayalde would not seek the go-signal of their commander-in-chief before filing the complaint.
The other respondents included most of the opposition senatorial candidates of Otso Diretso: Former Sen. Bam Aquino, human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, election lawyer Romulo Macalintal, former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay, Muslim civic leader Samora Gutoc, former Rep. Erin Tañada and former Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano.
Also included were former Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, detained Sen. Leila de Lima, Sen. Risa Hontiveros, Lingayen Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, Cubao Bishop Honesto Ongtioco, “running priest” Roberto Reyes and two other priests.
The others were IBP President Domingo “Egon” Cayosa, former IBP president Abdiel Dan Elijah Fajardo, human rights lawyer Theodore Te and former Education Secretary Armin Luistro.
I have not read the complaint or evaluated the evidence but logic and plain common sense dictate that the complaint for inciting to sedition against the respondents is “pure hogwash and garbage” as described by de Lima.
Firstly: The basis of the complaint for sedition is the testimony of a man named Peter Joemel “Bikoy” Advincula who, according to the police, is a discredited swindler and blackmailer. Last April, Advincula implicated various members of President Duterte’s family as having ties with the illegal drugs industry. The police, saying he was an estafador, did not make any investigation on his accusations until Advincula made a turn-around, this time accusing the opposition leaders of persuading him to bring down the Duterte administration.
Secondly: The respondents in this case of inciting to sedition are more than 30 personalities of different callings and persuasions. These people must be so stupid as to gather such a huge number to conspire to incite people to commit sedition.
Thirdly: Remember that De Lima has been detained on trumped-up charges. Did the respondents hatch their conspiracy inside her detention cell? Or did she secure a pass so that outside she can participate in the conspiracy to commit the crime?
The filing of this stupid sedition complaint provides us with tragi-comedy entertainment in these times of crisis. It also gives us a chilling, alarming notice because if the regime can do it to top political and religious leaders, can this not also happen to us ordinary mortals?